On one little day trip, we went a couple towns over to visit the top of Marmolada, the highest peak in the Dolomites. Gloriously, there's a tram to the top.
The tram has 3 sections; this is a big mountain at 3343m, just shy of 11,000ft. This was also, I believe, the first time I've ridden a tram during the summertime. Removing the anticipation of ripping turns on my snowboard gave me extra time to reflect on just what an engineering marvel it is to install a people-carrier in the side of a mountain...
Off it goes
View north to Piz Boe (3152m)
More impressive than the view from the top (stunning) is the character of the rock itself. Billowing up in soft-looking marshmallow blocks from thousands of feet below, it adds to the grandeur in a way that's quite compelling.
Snowcat for scale
Late in August, the giant's glaciers still had snow that would be skiable in a pinch, but also turned the peak into a big icebox. Pretty amazing the effect a big chunk of ice can have on the temperature up there during the summer.
The structure at the top was also home to a shrine to Madonna, replete with photos of the Pope's visit etc. Carved out of solid rock and insulated by ice, calling it chilly doesn't do it justice.
Grotta della Madonna
Murphy ignores the view for a reading break
Unfortunately, we had arrived a little late in the day and were in danger of missing the last tram down if we screwed around too much. Woulda taken a while to walk down...
Long zipline down!
This post was actually a little bit out of order. I've been avoiding writing the first hiking one from the Dolomites as it's a stitch more involved, and, frankly, I've been freakin' busy. It's next though...
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